Customer Satisfaction with Auto Claims Increases Year-Over-Year
Auto-Owners, Amica and Erie Insurance lead the pack in overall satisfaction, according to J.D. Power study. Fairness, ability to manage expectations and communicating the progress of a claim most important.
Insurance Networking News, October 30, 2012
Consumers are more satisfied with their auto insurance claims experience, primarily as a result of their perceptions of the fairness of settlement terms, according to the “2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study,” from J.D. Power and Associates.
Auto-Owners Insurance ranked highest in overall satisfaction, for the fifth consecutive year, scoring 887 on the 1,000-point scale; next were Amica Mutual and Erie Insurance, which tied at 876 points; and Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) and COUNTRY, which tied at 874 points.
"As used-vehicle sale prices increase, the value of the loss settlement also increases," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "According to our Power Information Network, a database of vehicle sales transactions, used-vehicle sales prices peaked in May and June of this year, averaging nearly $18,500, compared with approximately $17,700 in January of this year."
The study measures satisfaction with the claims experience for auto physical damage loss, including first notice of loss, service interaction, appraisal, repair process, rental experience and settlement.
Overall satisfaction increased to 852 index points, a six-point improvement from 2011. According to survey results, satisfaction has increased in five of the six factors year over year, with settlement, the most important factor contributing to overall satisfaction, increasing by nine points to 846. Among claimants with a total loss, settlement satisfaction increased by 16 points. Compared with last year’s results, the average total-loss settlement increased by nearly $690, driven by higher used-vehicle values.
"Providing exceptional customer service is an important element in driving the perception of being treated fairly," Bowler said. "Claimants' perception of fairness is more than just the amount of the settlement, especially for repairable vehicles, where claimants are more focused on their vehicle being returned in its pre-accident condition. Focusing on keeping claimants updated and quickly communicating what will be covered in the claim also have a major impact on their perceptions of how fairly they are treated."
While settlement satisfaction improved, claimants are spending more on out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles, rental cars or repair costs, which increased by $26 to $403 compared with last year.
2012 Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking
Auto Owners 887
Auto. Club of So. Ca. 874
American Family 869
The Hartford 868
State Farm 868
AAA NCNU 852
Industry Average 852
The Hanover 843
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